Saturday, December 25, 2010

Obama Has Lost the World

After the 2010 elections, it's not exactly news that Obama has lost America. But in a less public referendum, he also lost the world. Obama's cocktail party tour of the world's capitals may look impressive on a map, but is irrelevant on a policy level. In less than two years, the White House has gone from being the center of world leadership to being irrelevant, from protecting world freedom to serving as a global party planning committee.

Even the Bush Administration's harshest critics could never have credibly claimed that George W. Bush was irrelevant. He might have been hated, pilloried and shouted about-- but he couldn't be ignored. However Obama can be safely ignored. Invited to parties, given the chance to show off his cosmopolitan sophisticated by reciting one or two words in the local lingo, read off a teleprompter, along with some cant about the need for everyone to pull together and make the world a better place, and then dismissed for the rest of the evening.

As a world leader, he makes a passable party guest. He has a broad smile, brings along his own gifts and is famous in the way that celebrities, rather than prime ministers and presidents are famous. On an invitation list, he is more Bono than Sarkozy, Leonardo DiCaprio not Putin. You don't invite him to talk turkey, not even on Thanksgiving. He's just one of those famous people with a passing interest in politics who gets good media attention, but who has nothing worthwhile to say.

The only countries who take Obama seriously, are the ones who have to. The leaders of Great Britain, Israel and Japan-- who have tied their countries to an enduring alliance with America based on mutual interests and values, only to discover that the latest fellow to sit behind the Oval Office desk no longer shares those values and couldn't give less of a damn about American interests. It's no wonder that European leaders ignore him as much as possible. Or that Netanyahu visited America, while Obama was abroad. Or that Japanese politics have become dangerously unstable.

On the enemy side, the growing aggressiveness of China, North Korea, Iran, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda can all be attributed to the global consensus that no one is at home in the White House.And if no one is at home in the White House, then that's a perfect time to slap the big boy around the yard. China is doing it economically, the rest are doing it militarily. They're all on board with Obama's Post-American vision of the world. But unlike him and most liberals, they have a clear understanding of what that means. The America of some years back, which actually intimidated Libyan dictator Khaddafi into giving up his nuclear program, without lifting a hand against him is long gone. So is the Cedar Revolution. Syria and Iran are back in charge in Lebanon. And in Afghanistan, the Taliban are laughing at our soft power outreach efforts.

Obama's soft power approach emphasizes the 'soft' and forgets the 'power'. It neglects even Clinton era understandings about the role of America in the world, and reverts instead to a Carter era sense of guilt that bleeds into hostility toward American interests and allies. While the rest of the world puts their own interests first, they act like a cog in some imaginary global community, turning and turning toward the distant horizon of international brotherhood. While China, Russia and most of the world walk down their backs and up their jellyfish spines, laughing all the way. And America's allies gird themselves and prepare for the worst.

From the first, this administration has curried favor with America's enemies by betraying and humiliating its allies. But these hideous acts of moral cowardice have not won Obama the approval of America's enemies. Only their contempt. And a Nobel Peace Prize from a committee of elderly left wing Swedes, awarded not for any accomplishment, but for the lack thereof. For being a man without a country, a leader without a spine and a representative of America who gives no thought for the interests of that country.

Now that the Koreas stand on the brink of war, Iran continues its drive toward a nuclear bomb, Al Qaeda is going global, Hezbollah is on the verge of taking Lebanon and Mexico is on the verge of imploding-- the impact of America's absence on the global stage is all too clear. The countless cocktail parties and toasts have not changed the world. All they've done is highlighted the transition of the White House from world leadership to global party guest. Trip after trip has ended in photo ops and policy failures. Instead Obama is stuck dumpster diving into the futile quest for a Palestinian state, not because such an entity will make the world any better, but because it will make him look good.

Obama has no mandate at home, and he has even less of one abroad. America's enemies do not fear him. Only our allies do. Kim Jong Il does not sit up nights worrying what Obama will do. Because the consensus in North Korea, Iran and the rest of the world is that the sea will rise, the sun will set and Obama will do nothing. Except maybe write a strongly worded letter, offset by some quiet backchannel diplomacy from his coterie of international left wing stooges reassuring the offender that, "No, Barry really isn't mad at you. He's just concerned. Really, really concerned."

Liberal pundits mock the rough and ready style of conservatives like Reagan, Bush or Palin in world affairs, but what they fail to realize is that the over-educated naivete, trendy cosmopolitanism and buzzword rich approach of a Kerry or Obama come off as laughably pathetic on the world stage. Republicans might be hated, but they can't be ignored. Democrats on the other hand are catspaws and pawns, fools who are so sure of their cleverness and determined to embrace every culture in the way that only the graduates of Ivy League institutions can, that any Third World vendor could twirl them around his fingers.

World leaders are rarely liked, but effective ones are respected. And effective world leaders don't lead with appeasement, don't compromise before the other side has even made an offer and negotiate on behalf of their country, rather than some intangible global consensus. They understand that they represent a country, not a popularity contest. They don't travel abroad to be adored or be greeted with parades and gifts, but to achieve tangible results on specific issues. To do otherwise is not to be a world leader, but a celebrity who happens to have picked up a big title along the way.

To be a proper American president on the world stage, means choosing to be respected, rather than liked. Obama always chooses to be liked, rather than respected. Because respect comes from accomplishment and character, while 'liking' is a function of appearance and image. Aiming to be 'liked' is playing to Obama's strengths. But being liked is irrelevant outside of an afterschool special. World affairs is not a networking seminar, it is a negotiation between countries who have billions of dollars and millions of lives on the line. And Obama has no idea how to play that game. Like the kid who never fit in anywhere, he's still trying to be liked. And he's willing to sell out American interests and allies to get the cool UN kids to like him.

Unfortunately Obama's irrelevance is also America's irrelevance. A Republican House of Representatives cannot do what Obama should be doing. And any attempt to show strength gets shouted down by the liberal punditocracy as treason and undermining the White House. As if anyone, anywhere could undermine Obama internationally as much as he undermines himself. The same liberals who considered Ted Kennedy's treasonous offer of cooperation with the Soviet Union or Kerry's trip to Latin American Marxist terrorists to be acts of courage, damn Republicans who supported allies in Ecuador and Israel as traitors. And so Obama must have a free hand to do it all on his own. To do what Kennedy or Kerry could have only dreamed of.

Obama has lost the world. He has made the country that he claims to represent into a shadow of its former strength and glory. And his irrelevance endangers American lives. Not just those of soldiers in war zones, laboring under restrictive Rules of Engagement, written so as not to offend Muslims. Not just those of Americans at risk for domestic terrorism under an Attorney General who sympathizes with terrorists, more than with Americans. But to everyone living in a world where countries like North Korea and Iran feel free to do what they want, where our economic rivals such as Russia and China advance their interests and their espionage, and where terrorists across the Muslim world grow in boldness and number because they have no one left to fear anymore. In America and around the world-- Barack Hussein Obama endangers us all.


Anonymous said...

I am nominally posting "anonymously," but I normally post as man_in_tx: Sultan, how I wish I could call you out for this article that walks all over my President, and -- what is worse -- says my country is in deep trouble, but -- try as I might -- I can find no fault in your article whatsoever. Actually the piece is bracingly clear and SHOULD send a chill down every thinking American's spine.

Since I cannot brook your thesis, permit me to quibble: Your (all-too-true) assertion that our combat troops "labor under restrictive Rules of Engagement, written so as not to offend Muslims," is, of course, spot-on.

However, I consider it unfair even to Obama that you fail to mention that most -- if not all -- those ROE currently handcuffing our troops were first drafted and implemented under the Bush Administration by a Pentagon led by Bush-appointed SECDEF, Bobby Gates, who -- ever the invertebrate -- is energetically serving under the current "occupant" of the White House, not only eagerly enforcing the PC ROE, but -- what is more -- busily ramming openly-practiced homosexuality down the throats of our combat troops who have been worn down by too-frequent, oft-repeated deployments over the past nine years or so, frequent deployments made necessary by our insufficiently large military that Rumsfeld and Bush were content to keep that way.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Yes, the situation didn't begin with Obama. It just got much worse under him.

Bruce said...

I hope you don't think any of this nasty mess under the Obamination is unintentional.

wanumba said...

Absolutely agree that a weak POTUS makes for a dangerous world.

The comment above mentions our military. Not sure what to make of that. On top of the usual work-load of an internationally projected military, our "insufficiently large" military "de-regimed" two nations and established new goverance in each, while bottling up Iran on both sides, to their eternal disgust and fury. Not too shabby for what Democrats intone as "stretched." Though the way the Democrats inexorably underfund our military, as they claim they "care," that could happen.

Be wary. Democrats are on their narrative campaign to promote a DRAFT. The themes are: "too many deployments," suggested higher suicide rates, suggested "regional disparities in military service," possible "disparity of poor versus well-off" (which the actual stats prove is not true) and "exhaustion and assundry other things that "experts suggest," plus the suspiciously timed Congressional panel that just announced that women should not be barred from combat positions. Media is full of suggestions for "National Service" as a great idea for unemployed, undisciplined youth.
The Universal National Service Act HR 5741 which was reintroduced into this session in July is a draconian and evil national, male-female DRAFT ages 18-42 for military service, national service or "other purposes."
Since that covers everything under the sun, and centralized under the POTUS, that pretty much gives the POTUS emperor-like powers over a pretty much enslaved population.

What a curious creepy desire on part of the Democrats. The all-volunteer military is busting at the seams with enlistees right now, much thanks to a very weak job market plus a generation of young men who hate the demeaning they received in feminized schools and want nothing to do with more Liberal Left feminasty via 4 more years of college. The fire departments aren't hiring much these days, so it's the military to get some "manly."

But the Democrats, over the objections of the military, are telling us we "need" a Draft to "fix" "problems" that don't really exist. This bill has morphed from obnoxious to total evil, and by rights should be nowhere, but DEmocrats keep slipping it back in whenever they think they've got a shot at passing it, more insidious than before,and it would be the means by which Obama makes his "National Civilian Corps as well-funded as the military." Thank God for our mid-term election cycle.
Indeed, Obama endangers us all, in more ways than one.

Paul said...

Yeah. Obama is no Reagan, but let us not forget that while Obama may work like a celebrity, Reagan was the real thing and history is not all that kind to Reagan. Reagan gave us a hasty exit in Lebanon and a Republican amnesty for illegal immigrants. He and his true believers gave him credit for a lot of things that were already happening by themselves. And a lot of things are happening now by themselves in the world that the US could not easily do anything about. The proliferation of nuclear weapons is partly because of the loosening of security states in both the US and the long dead USSR. Engineering is much more possible with computers that were once unavailable. The world is a different place and there are new challenges that do not fit old models. The Obamination is not the real root of the problem, but he is powerful evidence of what the real problem is.

Arison said...

I tend to disagree with the general tone above.

Obama's personal profile has nothing to do with America's world diminishing relevance. Well maybe about 20%, but the big picture is that the national debt, made worse by the wars, has almost put us on par with the third world countries. It was Bush, much as I hate to say it, and the Republicans who are responsible for this.

The truth is the current situation cannot be sustained. Much of the taxpayers money, about a quarter goes on military spending. Manufacturing is outsourced. What to expect?

I'm not hopeful that the Republicans will defeat Obama, even the mid terms were less then anti Obama than I had hoped.

What to do?

HermitLion said...

"He's just one of those famous people with a passing interest in politics who gets good media attention, but who has nothing worthwhile to say"


I was exceedingly happy to read these lines here, because they summarize the precise opinion I formed on the man, even before he got elected.
It is so terribly tiring to hear people defend Obama, not because they understand what he is truly about, but because they feel uncomfortable with the criticism itself - as if "not being nice" automatically puts one in the wrong.

Either way, this article served as an encouraging affirmation of my thoughts, and for that, I thank you.

Edgar Davidson said...

I am sure what you say about Obama 'losing the world' is correct with respect to most world leaders, but it is sadly very far from the truth as far as the brainwashed populations of Europe are concerned. It is still considered a social crime to suggest that Obama is not the greatest person in the world. In the UK the PM David Cameron certainly thinks the sun shines out of Obama's behind. When questioned about Palin's rising popularity Cameron - a supposed Conservative - said "It's hard for us to understand, if I can put it that way." In fact Cameron cannot understand why any American would not love Obama.

Mark Matis said...

If only the putrid stench passing itself off as "Law Enforcement" in the US would bother to honor their oath of office to "...preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution...", MOST of the problems would PROMPTLY disappear. Yet they WILL NOT, but instead bow and scrape before their Masters and then do whatever they are told. As a result, there WILL be civil war in the near future. May they rot where they belong for what they have done to this country!

DP111 said...

The situation needs to get worse before there is any chance of getting better.

Steps on the way to recovery

1. Obama as President

2. Both Houses under Democrat control

3. Tea Party - positive improvement as a consequence of #1 and #2.

Anonymous said...

Edgar Davidson has spoken my mind; we're suffering here too in the UK and the EU. Also, look what we know about the WAQF - nothing will get done about this:

and now Abbas of the 'secular' Fatah has said that if there was a Pal State with Jerusalem as its capital then there would be no Israelis (read Jews). Courtesy of JihadWatch.

Both UK and EU seem to share Obamas ideals and we're collapsing under the weight of false promises. kate b

Anonymous said...

Yup those young men can now enlist in the military if they don't want to be around feminized colleges, and salute the many generations of women in the military that will out rank those new male enlistees.

Anonymous said...

I've been tempted to go back to the co-workers whom I told the reasons why I would not vote for Obama and say, "I told you so." At the time I didn't even have the advantage of reading Sultan Knish, because I had not yet stumbled upon this blog.

In looking at the picture of Obama bowing to the king of SA has anyone else noticed the look of extreme amusement on the face of the king? Maybe it's just my imagination.


Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

of course he's amused. Why wouldn't he be

TBS said...

Daniel, have you read the book The Roots of Obama's Rage by Dinesh DSouza? Initially sceptical, I ahve read this bok and find it very useful to understand Obama. In short, DSouza claims and substantiates his claim that Obama is simply enacting the anticolonial dreams from his African father (cf his book Dreams From my Father).

He bases this on Oama's two books and various othertbhings. Well worth a read! Clarifies a lot!

Keli Ata said...

He has lost the world, which is why Putin described the US as the greatest world power among many. After the fall of Communism the US was the sole superpower.

Zilla/MJ said...

How perfectly true and utterly depressing. I am not as well educated as you, Daniel, please tell me, is there anything realistically that can be done to reverse the disastrous course that Obama and his liberal enablers have set us on?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Well we're doing it. Standing up for the truth and trying to influence politics.

Anonymous said...

"big picture is that the national debt" created by idiotic social programs and "made worse by the wars."

Fixed it for you. Abolish the social programs and the debt will vanish. Withdraw from the UN and the EU, and the debt will become a surplus.

West to the West Wing 2012 said...

There is not much factual here that I didn't already know; but the way you put things, Daniel, makes things hit home with so much force it knocked the breath out of me. I'm sitting here in flyover country, with children, in a house lovingly built by my father-in-law's own hands, tears running down my cheeks, shaking with rage, realizing that this evil loser thinks NOTHING of destroying me, my kids, and everyone and everything I love. We do not even EXIST but as pawns in his pathological acting-out.

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